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Путевые заметки Дэвида Боуи о путешествии по России на транссибирском экспрессе.

     Ниже мы публикуем на языке оригинала письма Дэвида Боуи о России. Почему нам показалось интересным разместить здесь этот текст, написанный в жанре репортажа? Начнем с того, что для нас самих, российских жителей путешествие через всю страну по Дальнему Востоку и Сибири, представляется  захватывающим и во многом экзотическим. Поэтому вдвойне любопытно узнать, какие впечатления остались от этого вояжа в 1973 году, во времена холодной войны у знаменитого британского музыканта, который даже написал несколько песен о России.

     Мы порадовались тому, что заметки написаны довольно простым языком, и тем, кто  изучает английский язык даже на начальном уровне будет несложно  прочитать и перевести этот текст. Уверены, что не только ученики нашего центра английского языка для пенсионеров и людей старшего возраста заглянут в эти необычные мемуары, но и все те, кто интересуются английским языком и мировым музыкальным наследием.

26th May 1973

I thought that this week I would begin to tell you about my trip through Russia. Russia is such a fascinating country, that I was very excited at the prospect of being able to see some of it for myself, and, just as I expected, the trip was a wonderful experience. Of course, I had formed impressions of Russia from what I had read, heard and seen in films, but actually going there, seeing it for myself, and meeting the people, made it into an incredible experience which I will never forget. So now I hope I can give you some idea of my impressions.

Travelling with me for the whole of this trip were Geoffrey MacCormack (my conga player), Bob Musel (a UPI reporter) and Lee (my photographer).

Our trip started on a boat, the Felix Nzerjinski, which left from Yokohama in Japan and went to Nakhodka, the seaport town on the far east coast of the USSR. That part of the journey took us two days, and I must say, I really enjoyed it. The boat itself was wonderful, and very 'plush'! I found myself giving a short concert for the other passengers. We hadn't planned anything, but it seemed a good idea, it was nothing very grand, I just accompanied myself on the acoustic guitar. I think they loved it, it certainly seemed that way from their response.

In Nakhodka we boarded the train. It was really fantastic - I wish you could have seen it! It was an old French train from the turn of the century, with the most beautiful wood veneer, decorated oval mirrors, and velvet couches. Really it was like something out of a romantic novel or film.

I'm always at home on any train, but this one was very comfortable! It was really one of the nicest trains I've ever come across, and by now I think I can say that I've travelled on a lot of very different trains. I was looking forward to a long and very pleasant journey through Siberia, but, unfortunately, there was a disappointment in store for us. One day later we found that we had to change trains, in Khabarovsk, just before the long eight-day journey through Siberia, and this new train was nothing like the old one. It was simple and practical, and very clean, but we had set our hearts on the beautiful, romantic French train!

Siberia itself was incredibly impressive. We rode for days and days across relatively untouched wilderness - great forests, sweeping plains, and glimpses of people living a very simple, peasant life, getting a living from the land. I could never have imagined such expanses of unspoilt, natural country without actually seeing it myself, it was like a glimpse into another age, another world, and it made a very strong impression on me. It was strange to be sitting in a train, which is the product of technology - the invention of mankind, and travelling through land so untouched and unspoilt by man and his inventions.

So that is what we saw outside the train, as for inside the train - we had these two fabulous attendants on our particular car, called Danya and Nadya. They served us tea when we woke up, and for that matter they served us tea all day long - the tea is truly delicious, really incredible.

We all grew to be very fond of Danya and Nadya, they were so charming, and always smiling and cheerful. I used to sing songs to them, often late at night, when they had finished work. They couldn't understand a word of English, and so that meant they couldn't understand a word of my songs! But that didn't seem to worry them at all. They sat with big smiles on their faces, sometimes for hours on end, listening to my music, and at the end of each song they would applaud and cheer! They were a wonderful audience - it was a real pleasure to sing to them.

I've got lots more to tell you about Russia, but I'll save that for next week.

2nd June 1973

As I promised this week I'm going to tell you more about my incredible trip through Russia. Last week I had just begun to tell you about Danya and Nadya, our wonderful attendants on the train, and how I used to sing songs to them late into the night and how they used to make the most delicious tea for us. As well as making the tea they used to get out at the various stops along the route to buy yoghurt and rolls for us, and other things that one could buy from the townsfolk along the way. In fact, they really spoiled us. The rolls and yoghurt were almost as delicious as that tea. And, of course, Danya and Nadya knew exactly what to get and what was the best.

I really love travelling by train, I find it very relaxing, and it gives me a chance to see the world and the people that live in it, and how they live. As I do a lot of my song-writing during my train journeys, naturally enough the atmosphere of the country I am passing through, the way of life and what I observe in the people, comes out in my songs. I wrote several songs about Russia, so I hope that one day you will be able to experience my impressions of Russia (and Japan), through my letters. You know, I keep thinking about that trip to Japan. It made such an impression on me. I loved the people and their culture, and I've found that of late my music and work has been greatly influenced by their music and theatre.

I find a train a very good place to work. I usually follow a kind of programme, getting up early, having a good breakfast, and then reading or writing music all day. Of course I also watch out of the window a good deal of the time, and talk to the people around me, and the people I am lucky enough to meet. I go to bed quite early, about 9 or 10, which when you think about it, is very early for a musician! But I believe that the sleep on the train is really just about the only real rest I ever get! Things can get so hectic.

Well, anyway, back to my trip through Russia. On April 30th we finally pulled into Moscow. We stayed that night in the intourist hotel, and the next day we were lucky enough to see the impressive May Day Parade in the streets of the city. May Day is Moscow's (or rather Russia's) biggest holiday - commemoration in honour of the founding of the communist party.

All party members march in the streets carrying red flags and singing patriotic songs - it's really quite a sight. It's very impressive to see such enormous numbers of people marching together like that, with a sense of harmony and purpose.

It looks like I've just about come to the end of my description of my trip through Russia.

After my time in Moscow I took a train through Warsaw, Berlin, Belgium and Paris, where I was joined by my wonderful wife, Angie and my press lady Cherry Vanilla. They accompanied me back to England and that was the end of the trip. Of course, it is still all very much alive in my mind and my memory, and I hope it will live on through my music.

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